Pioneer Institute ~ Ohio’s HB597 Smart Exit Strategy

We Now Have a Smart Exit Strategy from Common Core Notausgang

Pioneer Institute, an independent think tank from Boston, has lead the charge on research related to Common Core and its progeny. Their research is impeccable, resulting in numerous articles and White Papers that serve as highly respected reference sources for state level repeal efforts and legislation.

This past week, Pioneer’s Executive Director, Jim Stergios, released an article “We Now Have a Smart Exit Strategy from Common Core“. The smart exit strategy? Ohio’s HB597. To receive such an endorsement from an organization of this caliber should energize every Ohioan in this fight. We have the plan, now let’s get all boots on the ground and see it through.


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Candidate Interview: Chad Monnin, Ohio House District 19

Army veteran and entrepreneur Chad Monnin is challenging incumbent Republican Anne Gonzales in the 19th District of the Ohio House, running as a Libertarian.

The Ohio Republican Party defends its favored incumbents with ferocity, but Monnin has invested more than $100,000 in his campaign.

A resident of New Albany, Monnin is a founder and former executive of Mission Essential Personnel, a privately-held company which “provides interpreters, translators, and cultural advisors to the US military and defense organizations.”

After working on Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Monnin produced and co-wrote the documentary film Of By For.

Media Trackers sat down with Monnin this week to discuss his background and his decision to wage a general election fight against an ally of Republican Governor John Kasich in the governor’s home district.

Video of our interview follows.

Asked why he chose to run against Rep. Gonzales, Monnin expressed concern with his sense that “Ohio is losing a little bit of its sovereignty.”

“Ohio is not a province of Washington, DC,” he added.

Monnin identified Kasich’s unilateral enactment of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, ongoing questions about state K-12 funding, and increasing state spending as three of the issues prompting him to enter the race.

“I don’t want to be in politics at all,” Monnin told Media Trackers.

“I would much rather Anne Gonzales be a legislator and be beholden to the people and accountable to the people,” he explained, noting his belief that the incumbent serves corporate donors in the health care industry and elsewhere.

In the most recent reporting period, the top contribution to Rep. Gonzales was a $3,000 donation from International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 18 in Cleveland.

Gonzales received $2,000 from Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice PAC in addition to $1,000 donations from Ohio Iron Workers Association, Laborers International Union District Council of Ohio, and Ohio Association of Physician Assistants, among others.

During the same reporting period, all but $100 of Monnin’s campaign contributions were from Monnin himself.

The post Candidate Interview: Chad Monnin, Ohio House District 19 appeared first on Media Trackers.

“We Are Ohio” Now 100% Union-Funded

Every contribution this year to union front We Are Ohio’s political action committee (PAC) has come from a labor union, the group’s July semiannual campaign finance report reveals.

At this time last year, We Are Ohio had reported annual donations of $49,297 from AFL-CIO’s Washington, DC headquarters and $55 from all other donors combined.

The “citizen-driven, community-based bipartisan coalition” created in 2011 to kill a public-sector union reform bill has received over 95 percent of its PAC funding from labor unions since its inception.

With the exception of a $967 reimbursement from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the only contributions We Are Ohio has reported to the secretary of state for 2014 are:

  • $1,694 from Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE), an affiliate of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • $1,694 from Ohio Education Association (OEA)
  • $1,694 from American Association of University Professors Ohio Conference
  • $1,694 from AFSCME Council 8
  • $1,000 from Communications Workers of America (CWA) headquarters in Washington, DC
  • $847 from Ohio Nurses Association
  • $847 from Ohio Federation of Teachers
  • $694 from CWA District 4

We Are Ohio also reported a sum of $585 of in-kind support from Ohio AFL-CIO and Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), another AFSCME local. Both contributed staff time and office space.

Last year, a Media Trackers complaint prompted the Ohio Elections Commission to rule that We Are Ohio broke state law by failing to report unions’ in-kind support.

Since the campaign to prevent public-sector union reform ended in 2011, We Are Ohio now operates primarily as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit led by the state’s most powerful union bosses.

We Are Ohio’s chief concern is preventing Ohio from becoming the nation’s 25th worker freedom state. Without a worker freedom law, Ohioans in unionized workplaces can be forced to pay union bosses as a condition of employment.

The post “We Are Ohio” Now 100% Union-Funded appeared first on Media Trackers.

Pro-Kasich Columbus Dispatch Defends Common Core

The Columbus Dispatch, published by a donor to Republican Governor John Kasich, continues advocating for the Common Core State Standards in both opinion and news coverage.

“Don’t weaken education,” the headline of an August 20 Dispatch editorial warned. “Common Core repeal is driven by fears built on falsehoods,” the column subheading asserted.

“A small group of Ohio lawmakers who are seeking to repeal the state’s new Common Core educational standards are doing so based on falsehoods, and if they are successful, it would be a tremendous setback for Ohio students,” the editors wrote.

Dispatch publisher John Wolfe is one of five members of the paper’s editorial board. Wolfe and his wife Ann have donated $59,000 to Gov. Kasich, a Common Core supporter, since 2010.

Wolfe is also vice chairman of Columbus Partnership and a member of Ohio Business Roundtable, two members of the pro-Common Core “Ohio Standard” coalition bankrolled by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the August 20 Dispatch column, the editors quoted leftist “fact-checking” outlet and cited Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The editors failed to note that Fordham is paid by Gates Foundation to promote Common Core.

“Ohio schools need the stronger standards of the Common Core. Ohioans should read the facts and demand an end to this ill-considered repeal effort,” the editorial board concluded after summarizing several Gates Foundation talking points.

In an August 24 news story, Dispatch reporters Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel repeated most of the points their editors made in the opinion piece days earlier.

As with the paper’s coverage of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, the Dispatch has painted Common Core critics as misinformed and politically-motivated while quoting far more extensively from the program’s supporters.

“Just hours before hearings begin on legislation to repeal Common Core academic standards, supporters gathered at the Statehouse today, urging lawmakers to set aside the political debate and not be misled by the fears and myths,” an August 18 Dispatch news story began.

The latest promotion of Common Core in the Dispatch follows the trend set by an August 1 editorial titled “Common Core should stay,” and continues a month of news coverage emphasizing the challenges of dropping Common Core after schools have prepared for its implementation.

The post Pro-Kasich Columbus Dispatch Defends Common Core appeared first on Media Trackers.

The Cronies and Corporatists to Testify this Week

HB597 Hearings – Round 2

Tuesday, August 26th – 9:00 to 11:00 am with afternoon session if needed – Statehouse, Room 313

Wednesday, August 27th – 9:00 to 11:00 am – Statehouse, Room 313  Updates available here

This week’s hearings will include Proponent, Opponent and Interested Party testimony. Every parent and taxpayer should be aware of the Ohio School Boards Association’s (OSBA) communications sent to all their members urging them to oppose HB597 and to attend the hearings to offer testimony against repeal.  As you’ll read, the OSBA has no respect for its members’ local level deliberations or concerns.  Read emails here and here, and to no surprise there’s the Gate$ influence at the top; National School Boards Association grants.

ALERT – The Cronies and Corporatists will be out in force at this week’s hearings. There’s a lot of influence and money on the line. Please attend and be a presence. And don’t forget to wear your red t-shirt!

RECAP – Breitbart’s, Dr. Susan Berry, wrote an excellent recap of last week’s hearings that includes video of the outstanding testimony offered by Jim Stergios, Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute. 

 “Ohio Legislators Urged to Repeal Common Core Standards” this-weeks-common-core-standards-ap

Excerpt from article – “What’s happening in Ohio is very exciting. HB597 takes a new approach to the repeal and replace effort, with a huge step towards returning control to local districts and utilizing high performing, proven standards,” Huber said. “Speaker Pro Tempore and Rules Committee Chairman Huffman sized it up well within his remarks, ‘…putting aside the process and financial interest debate, what was adopted is a bad product…'”

“With a large Republican majority caucus heading into a general election, the demise of Common Core in Ohio seems imminent,” Huber added. “Why would any politician subject Ohio’s students to a sub-par education program?

The post The Cronies and Corporatists to Testify this Week appeared first on Ohioans Against Common Core.

How some elections are decided BEFORE November

I have given several presentations recently on the importance of voting in primary elections and gaining citizen-led majorities on party central committees. A copy of a popular chart from these presentations is below. The chart is based on voting data from the May, 2014 primary election in my home county of Clermont, OH. No Democrat […]

Highland County Tea Party

Monday night I headed out to Hillsboro, OH to speak with members of the Highland County Tea Party. We discussed ways to help grow liberty groups. The impact of citizen involvement in central committee. Learn more about the Highland County Tea Party at their website. Join the Highland County Tea Party email list – at […]

KasichCare Enrollment Hits 92% of Admin’s July 2015 Estimate

Last month 338,707 Ohioans were enrolled in Medicaid under Obamacare, exceeding 92 percent of the July 2015 enrollment projected by Governor John Kasich.

In yesterday’s Ohio Department of Medicaid caseload release for July, June enrollment was revised upward to 328,069 from the 285,553 first reported.

May enrollment, initially reported as 243,230 and then revised to 274,630 last month, was revised to 309,562 in the July caseload report.

At 247,208, the state’s fiscal year 2014 average Obamacare Medicaid enrollment is greater than the initial figure reported for the fifth month of the program. As more Ohioans are added retroactively, July 2014 enrollment is all but certain to surpass the 366,000 Gov. Kasich’s Office of Health Transformation projected for July 2015.

Kasich, a Republican, unilaterally enacted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion last fall after months of unsuccessful attempts to convince the Ohio General Assembly that the program was a Christian opportunity to use “Ohio’s tax dollars” to help the poor and boost the state economy.

The Kasich Administration used the following graph to depict anticipated enrollment in Medicaid “as of July 2015.”

The “Newly eligible” bars in this graph represent new Medicaid recipients covered under Obamacare’s redefinition of the program, primarily to include able-bodied childless adults.


The graph below shows Ohio Medicaid enrollment for those Kasich made eligible under Obamacare, as reported yesterday by the Ohio Department of Medicaid.


The post KasichCare Enrollment Hits 92% of Admin’s July 2015 Estimate appeared first on Media Trackers.

Ohio Union Rep’s Vacation Halts Teacher Negotiations

Elyria City Schools classes resume in two weeks, but the district hasn’t reached a contract with teachers because the local Ohio Education Association (OEA) rep halted negotiations this summer to take a five-week vacation.

According to the school board, “the Union ended the negotiations” five minutes into the third day of discussion on a new contract “and refused to meet the remainder of the day.”

On the fourth day of negotiations, “the Union’s bargaining representative, Airica Clay, advised the Board she was unavailable for the month of July to meet due to her vacation plans.”

Clay is an OEA “labor relations consultant,” and last year she was paid $140,751 with money taken from teachers across the state.

Clay did not respond to a May 28 contract proposal from the Elyria school board until July 2. When the board presented a counter less than two hours later, Clay “unilaterally ended negotiations for the day” and then informed the school board she “was unavailable until the week of August 18, 2014.”

Elyria City Schools teachers are scheduled to return to work on August 18, one week before students return to class on August 25.

“At no time did the Union offer to attempt to secure another Union representative to substitute for Clay during her extended voluntary absence,” the school board asserts.

The previous contract between the Elyria City School District Board of Education and Elyria Education Association expired on May 31. On May 30, the school superintendent and assistant treasurer were each quoted in a local newspaper story about the district’s finances.

Katie Henes, the assistant treasurer, told The Chronicle-Telegram that automatic step increases in teacher pay “would cause us to go into the red before 2018.”

“I know there is the sentiment with public employees that if you have money, that means it’s for us to pay them,” Superintendent Paul Rigda told the paper. “However, the public is the least interested in that mindset. They want to know if we’re taking care of the buildings, buying supplies for students and putting in the proper programs for student growth.”

Regarding a memo signed with the 2011 contract stating that longevity-based step increases — which were forbidden under Senate Bill 5, the public union reform law wiped out by a $40 million union smear campaign — would resume with the next contract, Rigda said, “That could be problematic.”

“If we were held to that statement today, that would mean major staff reductions including layoffs,” Rigda added.

As OEA locals typically do whenever public officials provide taxpayers with any insight into public union negotiations, the Elyria Education Association filed a State Employment Relations Board (SERB) unfair labor practice charge in response to the Chronicle-Telegram story.

The union accused the district of making “negative and disparaging comments about the bargaining unit members and their bargaining proposals regarding salaries and step freezes.”

“Superintendent Paul Rigda is quoted advising teachers seeking their rights to step movement on the salary schedule could create financial straits on the district and cause cut backs in staff,” the union’s complaint explained.

“The Article presented the teachers in a negative light and generated numerous negative comments about the teachers in the newspaper,” the OEA local added.

OEA is the largest and most powerful left-wing lobbying group in Ohio, and is a state affiliate of the gargantuan National Education Association (NEA).

Although the 2011 contract between Elyria City Schools and Elyria Education Association that expired this May froze step increases, it included 1.9 percent annual increases in base pay.

Because of restrictive union contract provisions, compensation costs for Elyria City Schools were already ballooning out of control by 2010.

From the 2005-2006 school year to the 2009-2010 school year, the average Elyria teacher’s salary increased by more than 10 percent, from $49,171 to $54,101.

The Elyria City Schools five-year forecast the district submitted to the Ohio Department of Education this May projected a $6.4 million deficit in 2016, a $13.8 million deficit in 2017, and a $15.3 million deficit in 2018. Based on the district’s projections, cash reserves will be depleted by the end of 2017.

A representative of Elyria City Schools contacted by Media Trackers on August 7 declined to provide any update on contract negotiations while SERB considers the district’s and the OEA local’s complaints.

The Chronicle-Telegram reported last month that nearby Keystone Local School District filed a SERB unfair labor practice charge with allegations similar to the Elyria school board’s. Ms. Clay is also the OEA bargaining representative for the Keystone teachers union.

The Keystone school board accused Clay and OEA of “intentionally employing dilatory tactics to prevent the Parties from reaching agreement or ultimate impasse on a successor collective bargaining agreement,” and of colluding with another union to delay its negotiations with the district, as well.

For the children, no doubt.

The post Ohio Union Rep’s Vacation Halts Teacher Negotiations appeared first on Media Trackers.



MONDAY, AUGUST 18TH – 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm* – Ohio Statehouse, Rm 313 
Hearing will begin with Rep. Thompson’s Sponsor Testimony which will be followed by supporting testimony of Ohio students, parents, teachers and local school board members. *Hearing will extend if necessary to accommodate work schedules of those who want to offer oral testimony.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19TH – 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm* – Ohio Statehouse, Rm 313
The Repeal “Dream Team” will testify – Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Jane Robbins, Joy Pullmann, Dr. James Milgram, Emmett McGroarty, Ze’ev Wurman, Bill Evers and Jim Stergios. *Hearing will be extended if needed.

Let’s paint the Statehouse red!  Order now and get your T-shirts, decals and other gear in time for the upcoming hearings for HB597!! Wear your t-shirt as you run your errands, grocery shop and attend your children’s events. It is the most effective and least expensive way to educate fellow Ohioans on the destruction Common Core will levy on Ohio’s children and their futures. Limited stock will be available at the hearings. Order yours today to allow for mailing. If you want to pick up at either hearing, please note your request in the Special Instruction box on Order Form. Thank you and see you in Columbus!

Get The Gear

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